Before filing your lawsuit, know your time limits

Posted April 9th, 2015 by .

Categories: Legal Topics, Personal Injury.

lawsuit-time-limitsIf you are an adult and have been injured in any type of accident, you may be wondering if there are time limits for filing your lawsuit against the culpable party.  The answer is a resounding yes.  In legal terms, these time limits are referred to as the statute of limitations.

For purposes of this discussion, we will discuss lawsuits that involve accident claims.  Although a work-related injury is considered a workers’ compensation matter, we will also provide you with information concerning these types of claims.  We encourage our clients to seek our advice sooner than later.  It is not just that we want to make sure the action is filed within time.  It is often easier to secure witness statements and conduct investigation from the onset.

Workers Compensation Claims

In workers’ compensation claims, the statute of limitations could start to toll from the last date you had authorized medical care.  Authorized means care that was approved by the insurance carrier.  Of course, this would include doctors who treated you at the direction of the insurance company.  The statute of limitations could also begin from the last date you received money from the carrier.  This would include payment for both temporary and permanent benefits.  Therefore, a Claim Petition (the formal document filed to commence a workers’ compensation claim) must be filed within two years of the last date of authorized medical care or receipt of benefits.

Personal Injury Claims

Generally speaking, most personal injury claims must be filed within two years.  This includes lawsuits that involve car accidents, slip and fall injuries or product liability matters.  However, there may be requirements for cases filed against certain defendants, such as public entities.

Claims against Public Entities

Do you have a clear understanding of what constitutes a public entity in New Jersey?  They are not solely public buildings and government organizations.  For example, New Jersey Transit is considered a public entity.  In order to make a claim against a public entity, you must file a Notice of Claim within ninety days.  It is very difficult to overcome this rule.

Medical Malpractice

The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case runs from two years of the date of the alleged malpractice.  Otherwise, the date could be extended to two years from the date that the plaintiff should have known that malpractice was committed.

As you can see, it is extremely important that claims be filed on a timely basis.  Even a case with catastrophic injuries will become baseless if filed beyond the statute of limitations.  At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we maintain a diligent calendar to ensure your right to sue is protected.  Contact us for a complimentary appointment.

 

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